Bethnal Green Church Development
Proposed view from Roundabout (Bonner Rd)
The Proposal Printable 8-page document with plans
In 2018 the Bethnal Green Methodist Church considered a major refurbishment of the buildings. Having costed this, and noting how the current buildings were not fit for their purpose and not accessible to those with mobility issues, we decided against refurbishment. Instead, we appointed our architects, Gatti Routh Rhodes, in December 2019, to design a new church, community centre and home for the Zacchaeus Project, with the possibility of truly affordable family homes as a second phase for our site. We now have a proposal that provides far better community facilities and has a beautiful new garden at its centre. We are also hoping to be able to add four generous and affordable family homes set alongside a new mews as a second phase. These would be socially rented via a registered social landlord. The minister and his family who occupy the existing ‘Manse’ will continue to live nearby.
View from the junction of Approach Road and Bonner Road
The new building has a courtyard garden at its heart. The building is designed with materials that will complement the surrounding area including a similar brick to the nearby terraced houses. A cross within the main window above the church entrance, stained glass (we’re still working on the details and location) and large signage show the building to be a place of worship, gathering and community.
The main worship space is on the first floor, and is an airy, light double height space. It can be reached via an inviting, generous staircase or via a large lift. We are proposing to line the lower part with timber. This will allow us to hide a large amount of storage and the door from the vestry, and to improve the acoustics. To the south-west towards the school the windows are set at high level, so that the views are of the sky. To the other side large, tall windows overlook the main garden. We are working on an art strategy, which will include stained glass within the church and the congregation space, where people will be able to meet and chat before and after service.
Accessible to all members of the community, it will overlook and open out onto the main garden.
The new Mews and Family Homes
We are proposing four new family homes for the site of the existing Manse, which we hope we will be able to develop in a second phase. These will be genuinely affordable (socially rented via a registered provider) and built in similar materials to the church and community centre. The design of the homes is inspired by a traditional London Mews, Each home will Ground Floor Plan First Floor Plan Second Floor Plan have three large bedrooms, generous kitchen living spaces, a courtyard garden and two roof terraces. The orientation of the houses means that overlooking to the school is minimised. In line with Tower Hamlets requirements, this development will be car free, meaning no car parking will be provided and residents will not be able to apply for a parking permit.
We would like our building to have a very low, preferably neutral or even negative carbon footprint over its lifetime. To achieve this, we are:
• Working with our architect on the design decisions, for example orienting the building to make the most of the sun
• Working with our services engineers to make sure the building doesn’t get too hot, can be easily and very efficiently heated and generates a lot of the electricity it uses
• Working with our structural engineers to minimise the carbon footprint of the structure
Further plans and information are available in the full document provided by the developers
Charity Number 1134888